Belgium's Sam Deroo attacks against Argentina's triple block
Tehran, Iran, June 10, 2017 – An exciting five-setter between Belgium
got the day jump-started at the FIVB Volleyball World League tournament in Tehran. Sam Deroo
’s shining performance, combined with Simon Van De Voorde
's seven kill blocks, eventually tipped the outcome Belgium’s way – 3-2 (23-25, 25-20, 25-23, 24-26, 15-6).
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Deroo contributed 19 points to Belgium’s victory, while Argentina’s Santiago Darraidou
became the best scorer of the match with 23 points.
After Argentina had defeated Belgium by 3-2 the first time these two teams met in the World League back in 2015, now the head-to-head record is perfectly balanced at one victory and five won sets each.
The match opened with Argentina taking an 8-7 lead 8-7. Coach Vital Heynen
called his players out as they were 13-17 down, but Argentina had no intention of giving up in spite of losing concentration at some moments of the match. The guys of Julio Velasco
managed to hold on to their lead and finally close the set at 25-23. Heynen asked for a video challenge as the winning point had just been recorded, but it failed to change the ref’s decision.
The European side came into the court with a winning approach taking an 8-7 lead. The two teams went neck to neck up to the middle of the set before Belgium rallied up to 16-13 at the second technical time-out. Velasco changed the plan and Argentina soon tied it at 18-18 with quick spikes from Santiago Darraidou. Belgium widened the gap to 21-19 having the desire to make up for losing the first set and took a 25-20 win.
The third set was a copy of the second, with Belgium showing improvement in attack and reception, while capitalizing on consecutive errors by Argentina. Velasco called a time-out as his team trailed 14-18, and his three substitutions decreased the gap to 20-21. Two more substitutions by Heynen turned the tide as Belgium decisively took the set by 25-23.
The fourth set was a hard-fought battle, in which both teams showed high-quality volleyball and the balance stayed up to 23-23. Argentina showed supremacy at the final critical points and earned the victory by 26-24, carrying the support of the fans on the stands.
After Argentina was down 4-8, Velasco called his players out twice, but the Belgians fought in full measure driving a speedy 15-6 win.